Valles Caldera NM

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Geologic map of the Valles Caldera and vicinity. Mesozoic sedimentary rocks are green, Paleozoic are blue. Most of the orange and buff units are volcanic. X= Proterozoic. Q=Quaternary. T=Tertiary. Tnr = Tertiary rhyolite. QTsf = Quaternary-Tertiary sediments. v=undifferentiated volcanic rocks, b = basalt, f=felsic rocks

Entering the caldera



Interior View

On the main road there's really only one place to see a good panorama of the interior  

The East Flank

One might hope for nice views driving up the east rim, but the road is forested. Beyond the rim there are views to the east.
Not far south is Bandelier National Monument, where Indians carved caves into the volcanic ash beds.
Left and below: the road descends through a canyon cut into volcanic ash. The road also has numerous turnoffs into places decidedly not for casual visitors. (Los Alamos is just to the north)

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Created 04 September 2012, Last Update 24 November 2020